These Honored Dead: How The Story Of Gettysburg Shaped American Memory

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Da Capo Press, Incorporated, Nov 6, 2008 - History - 256 pages
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Ever since the guns of Gettysburg fell silent, and Lincoln delivered his famous two-minute speech four months after the battle, the story of this three-day conflict has become an American legend. We remember Gettysburg as, perhaps, the biggest, bloodiest, and most important battle ever fought-the defining conflict in American history. But how much truth is behind the legend?In These Honored Dead, Thomas A. Desjardin, a prominent Civil War historian and a perceptive cultural observer, demonstrates how flawed our knowledge of this enormous event has become, and why. He examines how Americans, for seven score years, have shaped, used, altered, and sanctified our national memory, fashioning the story of Gettysburg as a reflection of, and testimony to, our culture and our nation.
 

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User Review  - neotradlibrarian - LibraryThing

Desjardin’s book isn’t history, but historiography. He looks not only at what happened, but how the history of the battle developed. Almost while the battle was raging, participants started to shape ... Read full review

These honored dead: how the story of Gettysburg shaped American memory

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

For many Americans, the name Gettysburg conjures up images of the greatest battle ever fought on American soil, where the country's fate was ultimately decided. A former archivist and historian at ... Read full review

Contents

One The Many Meanings of Gettysburg
1
Two Infirm Foundations
11
Three The Struggle over Memory
41
John Badger Bachelder
83
Six Lost in the Lost Cause
109
Seven Constructing the Consummate
127
Eight The Worlds Largest Collection
153
Nine Wheres Buster Kilrain Buried?
177
Ten American Valhalla
193
Notes
207
Bibliography
227
Index
233
Photo Credits
245
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About the author (2008)

Thomas A. Desjardin holds a Ph.D. in American History and has been an archivist and historian for the National Park Service at Gettysburg. He is currently Historic Site Specialist for the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and is a frequent television commentator on Civil War topics.

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